Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Saltwater and Reef > Saltwater Reef Aquaria
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 08-13-2010, 07:44 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: tallahassee, florida
Posts: 990
Is my Refractometer messed up?

Hello all,
I have been having trouble with my refractometer for months now and finally decided to give in and ask for help.

I have a SmartReef refractometer from TBaquatics. There are two problems I am having:
1-Calibration wont EVER hold. Basically, it has a screw and some nut that you use to lock the calibration with. I use 35ppt fluid and adjust the line to the right mark on the screen. I then lock the nut down so the set screw cant move. I check again that the line hasnt moved, clean the prism and plastic screen with DI water, dry, and then attempt to check my tanks salinity. More often than not, I am alarmed at either way too high or way too low salinity. I check the refractometer with some more 35ppt fluid and find that the dang line has wondered off signitficantly even though the screw cant move! If I try enough, I can get an accurate reading on tank water and PWC water.

2-More often than not, the line is blury or there are multiple lines. This makes the reading useless! If I push down hard on the plastic screen that goes over the prism, the line will sometimes clean up. Letting go causes chaos again!

Help! I am going crazy! This was a $50.00 refractometer! It shouldnt be having these problems, right? I am about to go back to my hydromter as at least its consistent.

Ideas?Tips? Anyone have these issues before? This thing was a problem from day one but it was my first one so I figured I was doing something wrong.

Thanks!
Matt
__________________

__________________
mrg02d is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2010, 08:17 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
thincat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 5,330
Wow matt, I'm sorry to hear of your problem but I can't put my finger on the problem. For the heck of it would you try to calibrate with just R/O water so you can rule out a diffective solution?
__________________

__________________
Happy Reefing,
TC
thincat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2010, 08:58 PM   #3
SW 20 & Over Club
 
ccCapt's Avatar


 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Northeast PA
Posts: 5,362
Send a message via ICQ to ccCapt
Quote:
2-More often than not, the line is blury or there are multiple lines.
Can you focus it? By turning the rubber eye piece you can make that line crystal clear. Maybe that's the whole problem?
__________________
/Larry
125g reef
See My Tank Info
Check out The build project
ccCapt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2010, 09:49 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: tallahassee, florida
Posts: 990
Hey guys, I am actually on my 2nd bottle of 35ppt fluid (new brand) and still the same trouble. The eyepiece only focuses the numbers on the screen rather than the line created by the blue/white difference.

Im wondering if there is some way to adjust the prism and cause it to move? Maybe its loose, or maybe something else is loose. Im at my wits end with the thing. :-(

Matt
__________________
mrg02d is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2010, 08:34 AM   #5
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
thincat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 5,330
Besides focusing by turning the eye piece there should be a knob that is on the front that you use for calibration. It's a knob with a nut that you use to lock your calibration so it stays where you want it. If not can you take a picture of it.
__________________
Happy Reefing,
TC
thincat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2010, 12:05 PM   #6
AA Team Emeritus
 
cmor1701d's Avatar


 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Belle Mead, NJ
Posts: 7,814
TC, Matt stated that he locks down the calibration nut. It would seem there is something wrong with this unit.

Matt, have you contacted Brian at TB aquatics about this unit?

How much fluid are you placing on the lens before closing the cover?
Do you wait 30 seconds or so for the temperature to stabilize?

The eyepiece not only clears the numbers, but a slight change can make the line sharp vs. a bit blurry. You really need to use enough water, wait the 30 seconds or so AND use BRIGHT LIGHT. Try loading it up and going outside to check it in the sunlight. Does that clear up what you are seeing?

Last resort, have you had your eyes checked recently?
cmor1701d is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2010, 12:28 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
Raimond's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Southern California Desert
Posts: 92
Just a shot in the dark here but any bubbles can cause problems as well.

Like was stated above, I have to go outside to get a clear line. Bathroom lights just don't work well.

But your statement of you recheck it with the same fluid and it is off again causes concern about the unit itself.
__________________
Freedom is not free, support the troops!
If you can read this thank a Teacher, because its in English thank a Veteran.

110 Gallon FOWLR, 25 Gallon sump/refugium.
Raimond is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2010, 02:08 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Krypt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Holley, NY
Posts: 752
Have you ever dropped it?
__________________
"If your wife ever asks how much something was for your tank, just tell her you got it on sale and you had to have it! She'll understand"

-Chuck
Krypt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2010, 03:04 PM   #9
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
thincat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 5,330
mrg, Cmor has the best solution and that is to contact the place you bought it from and see if they will exchange it for you.
ps: Thanks for the heads up, Cmor...I should read the whole link...
__________________
Happy Reefing,
TC
thincat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2010, 04:43 PM   #10
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: tallahassee, florida
Posts: 990
Hey guys, thanks for all the tips! I will try out the sunlight later today when the clouds clear up.

Never been dropped. No bubbles. I use three drops. I have tried lots of water and very little water. The more water, the more the plastic guard thing moves and causes instability.

I didnt want to bother TBaquatics so long after buying the thing. (I got it in the spring).

Matt
__________________

__________________
mrg02d is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
refractometer

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
ok, ive messed up.... need help ImTheCrew Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 34 03-09-2009 09:06 PM
oh no, I've messed up TammyLiz Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 21 01-28-2006 02:09 PM
OK, I messed up. JHawk Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 12 05-15-2005 05:44 PM
so i messed up... adam_keene Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 8 03-30-2005 09:07 AM
I've done messed it up youronlysin Forum Admin & Announcements 7 06-21-2004 12:25 AM







» Photo Contest Winners








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:32 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.